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Victims speak as Whiteside faces judgment

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

Lynn Porter doesn’t believe in sugarcoating reality, and she’s confident that her 16-year-old daughter, Amber, is prepared for what she’s going to hear when the man who gunned down her father six years ago stands before a judge May 28 and pleads guilty to voluntary manslaughter.

Sources say he will probably serve seven years.

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Duncans are selling Farragut home

Victor Ashe
Government/Politics columnist

U.S. Rep. Jimmy Duncan and wife Lynn are selling their home on Butternut Circle in Sugarwood subdivision in Farragut. They plan to move into a smaller, one-level home in Knox County once their current home sells. They also own a lake house in Grainger County, which is part of the second congressional district.

■  Jason Zachary is definitely running for state representative to replace Ryan Haynes. He has purchased a home in the district. He won the Farragut portion of the district in his race for Congress in August 2014. Others are expected to run, too, but this time Zachary will be taken seriously by all. Others may include Lou Moran and Karen Carson. Former Farragut Mayor Eddy Ford has his house for sale and will not run. His wife, Linda, is recovering from knee surgery.

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Wimberly recalls Monkey Trial

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

Last week, on May 5, 90 years to the day after Rhea County High School teacher John Scopes agreed to get himself indicted for teaching evolution, former Circuit Judge Harold Wimberly led a conversation at an event called the Southern Railway Stump Speech about the Trial of the 20th Century, demonstrating the chops that made him a hometown hero as a member of the University of Tennessee’s 1962 G.E. College Bowl team that came in second nationally and got a ticker-tape parade down Gay Street.

The Monkey Trial is an oft-told tale, featuring towering historical figures – William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow and H.L Mencken – a passel of preachers and a dapper chimpanzee named Joe Mendi, who showed up in a fedora, a brown plaid suit and spats. Wimberly devoted considerable attention to the less well-known, and certainly less fashionable, John R. Neal, a Knoxville lawyer who served as Scopes’ local counsel.

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Brent Johnson moves to private sector

Sandra Clark
Editor

Brent Johnson is leaving the city’s engineering department after 27 years to join Vaughn & Melton Consulting Engineers in July as the senior project manager directing water resource efforts. The city is losing a heap of institutional knowledge.

Johnson headed the department under Mayor Bill Haslam. He was nudged to planning and kept his pay but saw multiple administrators piled on top of him in the Rogero administration.

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Eric Satz has modest record for TVA board

Victor Ashe
Government/Politics columnist

Mayor Rogero appropriately issued a statement of condolence and concern for the tragic stabbing that occurred May 3 on the Third Creek Greenway and pledged to increase police presence on greenways.

The questions that need to be asked are how many additional officers will be deployed and what is their schedule in general terms? Secondly, how long will this increase in police activity on the greenways last? No one asked that of our mayor’s communications office.

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Leadbetter pens behind-the-scenes look at UT

Wendy Smith
Government/Politics columnist

Ron Leadbetter, who became the first clerk at the University of Tennessee Office of the General Counsel a few months after suing the university as a law student, has published a book. “Big Orange, Black Storm Clouds and More” is both a history of his career and a legal history of the university from the late 1960s until his retirement as associate general counsel in 2008.

The 600-page book is a historical document, but only of things with which he was personally involved, he says. He relied on his own records rather than research to document cases regarding civil rights, sports, university leadership and even the death of Elvis Presley.

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Section 8 housing signup underway

Bill Dockery
Features columnist

Hundreds of Knoxvillians looking for financial help to find a home were expected to begin applying for Section 8 housing Tuesday morning.

Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation began accepting applications at 8 a.m. May 12 and will continue to do so until 1 p.m. Thursday, May 21.

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